WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Parliamentary delegation sent to China to press for release of detained Canadians, Freeland says
Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were detained in China in December, days after Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has been unable to speak with her Chinese counterpart and on Tuesday said Ottawa is sending a delegation, led by Liberal Robert Oliphant, to push for the release of the two men.
Last week, the two men were formally arrested and are now being held in a formal detention centre, which is more akin to a jail. (for subscribers)
Huawei seeks to reassure Canadian carriers in face of U.S. trade ban
Also on the Huawei front, the company is seeking to reassure customers of its wireless network equipment after the United States imposed trade restrictions. The company said it has built up a 10-month stockpile of supplies made by American companies and has plans to replace those parts using suppliers from other countries. Last week, the U.S. Commerce Department blocked Huawei from buying U.S.-made goods. BCE and Telus, Canada’s second- and third-largest wireless carriers, used Huawei radios and antennas extensively to build their current cellular networks. (for subscribers)
Huawei’s second major line of business is smartphones. Over the weekend, Google announced it would comply with new U.S. restrictions and while it would continue to support existing Huawei smartphones, future devices will not have its flagship apps and services including maps, Gmail and search. Huawei runs its devices on Google’s Android platform outside China.
Ottawa launches new 'digital charter’ to protect Canadians’ personal data
Ottawa is promising revisions to federal privacy law in an effort to better balance the control Canadians have over their personal data when it’s collected by technology companies.
Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau teased the idea, saying it would tackle issues such as hate speech, misinformation and election interference. On Tuesday, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains added that Canadians should be given transparent explanations and greater control over how their data is used and shared.
Law professor Michael Geist writes that the new charter represents a sea change in privacy law, but there are still several unaddressed issues, such as that it “limits the proposed reforms to private-sector privacy rules, leaving the rules that govern public-sector data use untouched for the moment.”
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WHAT ELSE IS ON OUR RADAR
Alberta wildfire: Nearly 5,000 people have been evacuated from the town of High Level and nearby First Nations in northwestern Alberta as crews battle a wildfire burning a few kilometres away. Officials said Tuesday that winds are favourable and are forecast for the next few days to push the fire away from homes.
“New Brexit deal”: British Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled a series of proposed changes to her deal Tuesday in hopes of finally winning parliamentary approval. In an impassioned speech, she said she has compromised and urged MPs to do the same. The proposals are aimed at a growing number of MPs who have rejected the deal by a wide margin, but it is far from certain if it will be enough.
NBA playoffs: The Toronto Raptors will tip off against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final at 8:30 tonight at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The Bucks lead the best-of-7 series 2-1. The Golden State Warriors are heading to the NBA final after winning four straight games against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Warriors won the fourth game 119-117 in overtime Monday night.
NHL playoffs: The St. Louis Blues lead the San Jose Sharks 3-2 in the Western Conference final. The Blues can earn a spot in the Stanley Cup final to face off against the Boston Bruins with a win tonight.
Canada’s main stock index reversed early losses and finished slightly higher on Tuesday, despite a drop in precious-metals miners as gold prices dipped to a more than two-week low. The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX Composite Index was unofficially up 24.72 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 16,426.47.
Shares of technology companies helped lift Wall Street on Tuesday after the United States temporarily eased curbs on China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., alleviating investor concerns about pressure on future corporate results in the sector. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 197.43 points, or 0.77 per cent, to 25,877.33, the S&P 500 gained 24.13 points, or 0.85 per cent, to 2,864.36 and the Nasdaq Composite added 83.35 points, or 1.08 per cent, to 7,785.72.
Winning at all costs: The bizarre position of the Trump administration on the Northwest Passage
“A freedom of navigation challenge will create a lose-lose situation for the U.S. If the Americans conduct a successful voyage and use that operation at an international court to win their position that the [Northwest Passage] is an international strait, they will open the passage to unimpeded transit of Russian and Chinese submarines and aircraft.” - Robert Huebert, associate professor at the University of Calgary
How ethically does your garden grow?
“Yes, also, to learning to live with insects and the plants we consider weeds. It’s time that gardeners realize deep in their guts that humans are occupants of the world, not the rulers of it. It’s time that all gardening choices must be ethical.” - Liz Primeau, author and founding editor of Canadian Gardening magazine
The end of natural disasters and the beginning of the new normal
“It’s a strange feeling, when something you’ve long dreaded finally arrives. I’ve been waiting for climate change my entire adult life. Now I’m 42, and it’s here. The fires, floods and hurricanes battering North America these past few years, more fierce and frequent than ever before in recorded history, are precisely what climate science has been predicting since before I was born.” - Arno Kopecky, author of The Devil’s Curve: A Journey into Power and Profit at the Amazon’s Edge and The Oil Man and the Sea: Navigating the Northern Gateway.
How to limit your phone use on vacation
With roaming plans getting cheaper, it is becoming even more tempting now to stay connected while away. But unless you really need cellular service for safety reasons, think about turning off the roaming. You can always check in when on WiFi and you’ll save money that can be spent on a fancy meal. Travel editor Domini Clark also recommends deleting time-sucking apps, setting time limits or leaving the smartphone at the hotel and bringing a separate camera (for subscribers).
LONG READ FOR A LONG COMMUTE
With high stress, anxiety and depression, 40 per cent of Canadian farmers uneasy about seeking help
Christi Friesen woke up one morning last October to 15 centimetres of heavy, wet snow. The Alberta farmer was crushed. It was the second snowfall that harvest and she and her husband still had to harvest about a third of their farm to cover their bills. She put her head in her hands and felt sick to her stomach.
“That was the defining moment where I was, like: ‘My head’s not right.’” Friesen did what few are able to do: She got help. As Carrie Tait and Jessica Leeder report from Calgary and Charlottetown, about 45 per cent of farmers across Canada have high stress, and even though experts say the rate of mental illness exceeds those in other professions, Canada doesn’t have a cohesive plan to track or address it.
New course trains yoga instructors to teach in Canadian prisons
From hot yoga to yoga in the park, the practice has taken a kaleidoscopic number of forms. Now a new course in Vancouver will train instructors in trauma-informed yoga in an effort to bring the practice to the Canadian penitentiary system. The goal is to learn mindfulness while we practise, says James Fox, who will lead the course, but also to learn how to take mindfulness into your life.